afrasmussen15_ Oleksii Liskonih Getty Images_japaneuflag Oleksii Liskonih/Getty Images

Building a Euro-Japanese Alliance of Hope

Faced with Chinese revisionism and the global retreat of the United States, Europe lacks the geopolitical strength and unity to assume America’s mantle as defender of the rules-based multilateral order. Europe therefore needs friends like Japan, and it is now time to take the bilateral relationship up a gear.

TOKYO – Geography aside, Japan and the European Union have never been so close. With Europe’s long-standing transatlantic ties under strain, and China presenting a challenge as well as an opportunity, the EU has sought like-minded allies in the Pacific. And there is none better than Japan.

The EU-Japan bond transcends mere interests: it is a relationship based on shared values of freedom, democracy, and open markets. Today, these values are under threat. The United States has decided to transact with the world rather than lead it, while China is challenging democracy in its neighborhood and rewriting the international rulebook that is designed to maintain peace and global stability.

Faced with Chinese revisionism and the global retreat of the US, Europe lacks the geopolitical strength and unity to assume America’s mantle as defender of the rules-based multilateral order. Europe therefore needs friends like Japan, and it is now time to take the bilateral relationship up a gear.

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